Grace and Failure

Gingerbread-House-FailureI think in grids.  Lists.  Deadlines.  Monochromes. Good – or bad.  Worthwhile – or useless. Perfect – or pathetic. This works well in the Maths classroom.  But not in life.

I cannot be perfect.  I can do my best – and that’s a lot.  But it’s not the same thing. It’s not what God wants for me.  It’s not what I want for myself.  Or my marriage.  Or my child.

It’s bad enough when it’s just me. But when it’s someone I’m caring for – that’s worse.  I think about motherhood – and I panic.  All the things I should be doing.  All the ways I’m going to get it wrong.

But here’s what’ll screw my kid up – and me.  Pretending to have the answers.  Trying to be the best. Refusing to cut myself and those around me any slack. Insisting that things are done a certain way (mine). Beating myself up when I fail. Trying to do the job of Jesus: and pointing my child to me and not Him.

Seems to me that a fallible parent who loves Jesus, has lots of chances to point to Him.  I want my child to know it’s okay to fail and wonderful to try.  I want them to learn from me – not how to be right, but how to graciously be wrong.  How to laugh at themselves.  How to pick themselves up and keep going, even when it’s hard.  How to live in the joy and strength of the Lord, not their own resources.


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